God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Reflect on the Verses
Take a moment to read through the passage slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through it.
Is there a word or phrase that God is drawing to your attention? What is He saying to you through these texts?
Engage with the Message
- What stood out to you from the Scripture passage and/or this week's message?
- In what ways is God challenging you and/or encouraging you through the message?
- How would you define compassion? What does it look like to be a compassionate person?
- There are lots of nice people who care about others in our world who are not followers of Jesus. What is unique about the way that Jesus models compassion?
- Do you think that the church does a good job reflecting Jesus' compassion? In what ways does the church struggle with this? In what ways the the church do it well? What would need to shift in our lives or in our churches to more faithfully represent the compassion of Jesus?
- In your experience, what motivates and empowers true change in peoples lives? How does this contrast with our tendency to depend on rules to motivate change? How does the gospel create change in peoples' lives?
- Do you believe that the gospel is good news for all people? In what ways do we struggle to believe and represent this? How can the church more faithfully embody and extend the good news of Jesus to others?
- How have you experienced God's compassion in your life? Who is God calling you to extend compassion to this week?